Tinnitus and Star Trek

William Shatner  is one of the most famous patients that Audiology has and is a giant spokesperson for the American Tinnitus Association.  On July 6, 1967, the episode Arena in the early Star Trek series was aired.  Little did anyone know that both of its main characters, William Shatner famous for Captain Kirk and Leonard Nimoy for Spock, were injured.

The episode frames Captain Kirk on a rocky planet where he might fight a much stronger creature named a Gorn.  There is nothing that he can draw upon to kill the Gorn other than items upon the planet.  As the two actors were near the filming, pyrotechnics were popping off.  Shatner was injured in his left ear where as Nimoy suffered hearing loss and tinnitus in his right ear.  For years Shatner tried low-level, broadband sounds to “help his brain put that tinnitus in the background” as he put it.

It is not uncommon that two people will be near one incident but the opposite ear is affected.  Stay tuned in the next weeks to talk about other interesting patients.